Napue, a superb Finnish gin

Tried this superb gin in Finland. It’s a small-batch rye gin from the Kyrö Distillery Company in Isokyrö. This was set up by a group of five friends (Miika, Miko, Mikka, Kalle and Jouni), and originally focused on producing Finland’s first rye whisky (naturally, being Finland, they conceived the idea in a sauna). They set up a [...]

Costière Denim

This is a guest post from Daniel Primack. I met him for dinner recently, but before we ate we popped into one of his favourite shops, Rivet and Hide. Here I had a quick chat with the owner, Danny Hodgson. It struck me how similar what he was doing – curating a shop with fine [...]

The blogger blackmail saga

The internet is currently on fire with a spat between a blogger and an artisan patisserie owner, and it has a hashtag all of its own: #bloggerblackmail. It would be quite funny, if it wasn’t for the fact that real people with real feelings are involved. From a distance, this is what appears to have happened. [...]

Gamay Focus 11, Château de Beauregard Fleurie Poncié 2013

Continuing the Gamay journey, it’s back to Beaujolais.

This Fleurie is from a sixth-generation family producer, and the vineyard is managed to promote microbial life, although it isn’t certified organic. The family have owned this Poncié plot since 1872, and it’s on a steep slope which tops out at 400 m. Soils are decomposed granite, and [...]

The iPhone 6

The iPhone 6. I remember when it first came out. I was at an event and a tech journalist had one, before its general release, for review purposes. I had a quick play. I didn’t like it very much. I was still in love with my 5, and I felt that the 6 [...]

If you were a wine... wines as people

If you were a wine, what wine would you be?

It’s an immensely silly question, but a fun one.

It’s actually even more fun to ask a friend: what wine am I? And then you get to reciprocate. I did this with a friend recently, and it turns out I am cru Beaujolais. It could have been [...]

'Down with wine dogma' - a comment on the alcohol level debate

A friend alerted me to this blog post by the excellent Ray Isle, which contains an open letter by Californian winemaker  Sean Thackrey on alcohol levels and wine. Thackrey is an eloquent and thoughtful voice in the wine world and his letter is worth a read.

While you are at it, you should probably also read [...]

On beauty

This morning I was driving. And, as I usually do when I am driving, I listened to Radio 4. [If I were ever to leave the UK, I think one of the things I would miss most about this small, quirky country is the BBC, and specifically Radio 4.] It was Desert Island Discs, and [...]

Tasting notes are really bad, aren't they?

I think I really hate tasting notes. But I write them all the time. Have to. It’s a large part of my job.

I don’t think my tasting notes are absolutely the worst of all. But I still dislike them, for several reasons.

First of all, most tasting notes are silly. This is largely because it is [...]

£5.32 per grape berry

Top wines are very expensive these days. It must make it tricky for anyone dealing with the production side: a small mistake could prove costly. You can’t afford to discard too many barrels of Grand Cru Burgundy, and you probably don’t want to be too picky in sorting the fruit.

I did a few back of [...]